National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an aircraft accident in which a panel from the wing of a US Airways B-757, flight 1250 en route from Orlando, Florida, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, separated from the aircraft somewhere over Maryland. The aircraft landed in Philadelphia about 30 minutes after the separation occurred. None of the 174 passengers or 6 crew were injured.
On Saturday, March 22, 2008, at about 9:30 a.m. EDT, a composite panel, measuring about 4 feet by 5 feet, on the trailing edge of the upper side of the left wing, broke loose from the aircraft and struck several of the windows towards the rear of the aircraft. The impact caused the outer pane of one window to crack. The inner pane was undamaged and the pressurization of the aircraft was not compromised.
Because the loss of the wing panel adversely affected the flight characteristics of the aircraft, the event has been classified as an accident.
The wing panel has not yet been located. Safety Board investigators are using a specialized computer program to perform a Ballistic Trajectory Analysis with data such as the aircraft ground track, speed, prevailing winds and other factors to create a search area where the missing panel is most likely to be found. Once a specific search area has been created, local authorities in the vicinity will be notified that an aircraft part may be located in their jurisdiction.
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) have arrived at the NTSB's laboratory in Washington, D.C., where the content of each is being evaluated.
Parties to the investigation are the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, US Airways, and the Air Line Pilots Association.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.